Depression plagues million of people right now. Don’t worry, the good news is that depression is 100% curable. Even though it ranks in the top 5 most common mental illnesses everyone has the ability to cure it. Everyone has a depressive episode every once in a while. Some people have an ongoing depression that may last for years, often referred to as clinical depression. There are quick fixes such as going to the doctor and getting a prescription for an antidepressant. Antidepressants were intended for short-term use, like when someone is dealing with a death in the family. If you go the quick fix route remember that it is only a short-lived solution and in most cases does not fix the underlying cause for you depression. I have dealt with major depressive episodes throughout my life. I am writing to you as someone who has been way down in the dumps and made full recoveries. I spent much time researching and applying different techniques to help make my recovery. In this article I am going to share with you some things that worked well for me and shed some light on you why it is you feel the way you do.
What is Depression?
Depression is simply a depressed nervous system. Usually not allowing you to feel positive and happy emotions and very commonly making you feel physically ill. If you are depressed you will constantly be bored, tired, un-interested in things you once loved, unhappy, de-motivated, pessimistic, and have a general blah feeling. Someone suffering from a major depressive episode will have good days mixed in with the bad. They may even go weeks before having another bad day and then all of a sudden think they are going backwards. This is normal. Also, I want to point out that you are not going crazy and things will get better if you work toward a solution, trust me.
Before you start trying to self remedy your depression, it is always a smart idea to consult with your doctor to rule out any other possibilities that may be an underlying cause. You would be surprised to find out how many people live with depression for years due to something such as anemia, metal poisoning, bacteria infection (usually candida), poor diet, low blood sugar, etc. You need to have the doctor do a full analysis on you and check your blood for any abnormalities. After you rule out any possible underlying health cause then it’s time to dig a little deeper into whats making you feel depressed.
Why Do I Feel Depressed?
If you aren’t sure if you are depressed or not chances are you aren’t. I know this goes against what most people would tell you, but you should know if you aren’t feeling as good as normal. If you find things boring, lack of interest, sleeping too much, fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, weakness, etc. then chances are you are depressed. The reason I made my statement earlier about you might not be depressed if you don’t know it is because I don’t want people that are having a bad day to think they have clinical depression. Always check with your doctor for a proper diagnosis. There is always a down in the dumps mood that everyone will go through from time to time. This is all normal and does not mean you have serious depression. There are also appropriate times to feel down such as when a family member passes away. If you feel down for no reason at all then it’s time to do a self-evaluation to see what may be your underlying cause.
There will always be a cause or causes making you feel the way you do. I don’t believe that anybody has such a depressive personality that it can’t be lifted, no matter how long you have felt that way. Most people don’t realize it and pass it on as just who they are. The truth is everyone has the right to feel happy and excited about life. You also have the ability to start feeling better right now. I wish it were as simple as tell yourself you are going to feel better and bam. Most of the time it will take some work. Getting started today will at least get you going in the right direction.
First lets examine your physical state. Try really hard not to make up excuses along the way. Be honest with yourself, it’s taking the first step. There are two kinds of physical attributes. Those you can change and those you can’t. Examples of ones you can’t change are height, foot size, bone structure, age, etc. Examples of ones you can change are weight, fitness level, how well you are groomed, clothing, etc. You need to get out a pencil and a piece of paper to write down all of the physical characteristics of your body that you are unhappy with. Spend at least 5 or 10 minutes making a good list. Be honest with yourself, nobody has to read your list. After you complete your list, then divide it into two categories. Things you can Change and Things You Cannot.
Things you cannot change
Ok for the things you cannot change you are going to have to accept them. I know it may be hard to do at first, but what other choice do you have. You could keep telling yourself that you’re not good enough just because your short, but what will that do to make you feel any better. It Won’t! People have things that they deal with everyday. This is just how life works. Think of Stephen Hawking, the man is fully crippled yet he has become one of the most influential men in physics today. What do you think would have happened to him if he would have given up on himself and sat in a corner feeling depressed. Chances are he would have been in a nursing home 20 years ago and probably wouldn’t be alive today. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that determines the quality of your life.” Learn to accept and love yourself for who you are.
Things You Can Change
After you have accepted the things you cannot change as part of who you are, then it’s time to move on. The things you can change need to be prioritized. You can’t change them all overnight, but you can start making progress. By the way don’t put things like money and love on the list. We are talking about your physical characteristics only. What you need to do next is write down a plan on how your going to do this. You can review my other article Self Development Plan for some great resources on writing out a plan with a time frame. Do this for each of the items on your list. If you have to many items to work on at once just pick 3. Things aren’t going to change overnight, but by getting started you will be undoing the negatives that have been building. Even if these items don’t fix your depression, there isn’t anything wrong with making some positive changes.
Diet, exercise, and hygiene are three very important parts of your physical body. Even if you don’t believe these are causes for your depression, it will still greatly help you to improve in all three areas. Exercise at least 3 times each week. Try to break out in a sweat if you can. The endorphins released will make you feel better and eventually the exercise will improve your energy levels. Diet doesn’t always mean to lose weight. You need to watch what you take in. Excessive sugars, carbs, processed food, bad fats, junk food, fast food, sodas, etc. will make you feel horrible. There is little nutritional value here and they put heavy stress on your body. Hygiene is very overlooked. You need to make sure you bathe daily, brush your teeth at least 3 times each day, get regular hair cuts and shaves, keep your house and clothes clean, wash your hands, etc. This can add a ton of health benefits and will greatly improve your mood. I have written an article related to some of these things if you would like to read more. Get Fit and Stay Fit | Lose Weight the Right Way
The physical reasons for depression are really easy to spot. The mental ones can be a little more tricky. There are several good techniques to try to pinpoint exactly what it is that is causing you to feel depressed. The first one I am going to have you try is to do is remember when it all started. See if you can remember the first time you felt really depressed. If you can’t that’s ok because there are other ways to identify mental thoughts that are causing your depression. If you can figure out where it all started, then you may be able to find a link into what caused you to feel this way in the first place. It could have been an event that happened months before you initially started feeling bad. If you can identify causes then skip the rest of the identify section. If not keep reading.
If you can’t associate a particular event with your depression than it could be related to a thought pattern. Excessive worry, stress, sleep deprivation, anxiety, anger, etc. It could even as specific as one particular thought that you have and boom full-blown depression. Also, it could be a subconscious thought that you might not even be aware of. Whatever the thought is you have to identify it and make the necessary change.
Fix Negative Thoughts
If you obsess over getting rid of the thought you may make it worse. Most of the time it’s better to find some kind of positive distraction to take your mind away from that thought when it happens. Subconscious thoughts are a bit harder to diagnose than ones you intentionally have. They are most of the time followed by a set of beliefs that you have adapted into your personality. I have written an article to help you change negative beliefs. Challenge Your Limiting Beliefs If you still can’t figure out what thought you might be having that is causing this then make a journal. Write down how you feel every hour on a scale of 1 to 10 then write down the things you did that hour. If you do this for a week you will begin to notice a patter associated with your depressive thoughts.
After you have identified the negative thoughts or beliefs that cause you to feel depressed, change them. Replace bad thoughts with good ones. Find ways to keep you busy so that you don’t have time to think about the stuff that normally makes you feel depressed. Be as optimistic as you possibly can. Really anything you can do to turn those negative thoughts into a much more positive experience will help.
10 Tips To Help Beat Depression
- Get Fit
- Eat Healthy
- Practice Good Personal Hygiene
- Get Plenty Of Rest
- Avoid Stress
- Replace Negative Thoughts & Beliefs
- Stay Positive & Optimistic
- Keep Occupied
- Accept Yourself For Who You Are
- Make Change Now
If you can find the root cause of your depression whether it is mental or physical, start working on it today. I hope this article helps and gets you started in the right direction. Please share if you found it useful. Good Luck!